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Relationship Building

The frantic pace of today’s business environment means that one of the most important building initiatives, the effort of building relationships, often falls by the wayside. Continuous and consistent communication with customers is critical during the frenzy of meeting tight deadlines. One of the most efficient ways to keep in contact is via marketing.

Construction companies have many commonalities in terms of how they are structured and what their end goals are. While everyone wants to be viewed as a trusted professional construction partner, it is becoming increasingly necessary to play up the unique characteristics of a company to give customers something to remember and a reason to continue calling. The main differentiators for any construction company are typically service, expertise and price.

A customer who is new to construction may be looking for a firm to handhold them through the process, making service the most important; for a customer with a small budget, price rises to the top; and finally, for that customer that will accept no less than the best, expertise is the deciding factor. Construction companies must determine how they want to be known to their customers and develop a blueprint to ensure that the conversation is both consistent and ongoing. The following are some ways to use marketing to resonate with customers and prospects.

Plan
Before a construction company can successfully communicate about itself, it must generate a plan of action. Ignoring this step can position a company for failure. A strategic plan will make the process smoother, give structure to ideas and shape the future of the business. This effort should address how branding/rebranding will impact target audiences, and ensure that any changes accurately represent the company while meeting the needs of your customers. Most important, this is the time to set a budget so parameters are in place to determine what can be accomplished.

Define
Any marketing effort demands clarity to make the brand recognizable above other noise in the building industry and establish the personality of your company. Take what makes the company different (and of course, better) and use that as the foundation for establishing your message. This means taking the time to determine what makes your company unique and how what you have to offer is what your customer needs. This means understanding not only your company, but also your customer.

Develop
Keeping communications consistent involves creating a narrative that encompasses what audiences should know and a version of short, bite-sized stories that communicate the who, what and why about your company. Even if you haven’t served in the Navy, you’ve probably heard of the Keep It Simple, Stupid (KISS) Principle. This concept is based on the idea that things work best when they are simple and complexity should be avoided when possible. Clarity counts in marketing. The more direct and specific your message, the more likely your customer will be interested. If they don’t understand you, they’ll find someone they do understand.

Communicate
There’s the old saying that asks, “If a tree falls in the forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?” What this really means is having a great story isn’t enough, it must be told, and that means communicating with both internal and external audiences. For example, video is currently being touted as one of the best ways to tell a story and if your company isn’t using it, now is the time. Video showcases value and supports your established messaging by providing a visual element that clearly defines the information and connects customers with the ideas being presented.

There’s no question construction companies are good at what they do, and marketing can be overwhelming, but it’s a beneficial way to communicate to customers exactly what makes your company stand out. It can sometimes be a complex process, but one that is the most valuable investments a construction company can make in itself to rise above the competition and win new business.

This article previously appeared in Construction Today.  Copyright 2016, Phoenix Media Corporation.  Reprinted with permission.